Gosh, we love this season. It�s an incredible time of year, and one that may get lost in the stress of finals and travel. Here�s why we think it�s great and how you can make it the most memorable holiday season yet amidst the chaos.
Green Bean Casserole
Written by David Imthurn, Younglife Staff
I had never eaten Green Bean Casserole before my first Thanksgiving out of college. Growing up with a Swiss father and a Brazilian mother didn�t help create a �typical� American Thanksgiving. Honestly, it wasn�t until I gathered with my friends for a makeshift �Friendsgiving� that I finally tried a traditional Thanksgiving meal. A family volunteered their dining room to me and a group of my close friends so we could have that authentic, cozy, holiday feel. With classic Thanksgiving decorations to some light arguing over whether the Cowboys would win their Thanksgiving day football game, to the warm aroma of turkey baking in the oven, it felt a little like home. And although the casserole was close to the worst thing I�d ever tasted, at the ripe age of 23, I finally found myself gathered around a table with some of my closest friends digging into the best turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce you could possibly dream of. It was too much, all senses were tingling as I bit into that last piece of pumpkin pie. It was a Thanksgiving I�ll never forget.
When I look back, my memorable experience had much less to do with the food than it did about the people involved. There aren�t many things that give me more life than sharing a meal with with friends and talking about life. The nitty-gritty should never stay hidden and today I�m thankful for a group of people who love me and encourage transparency at all costs. Even if it should be illegal for them to make Green Bean Casserole ever again.
What makes the season so great?
This is the season that seems to bring out the best in people and can often give people a reason to be active in service. It�s an amazing sight to see, and even more amazing when you�re contributing. Once people start giving back, it becomes contagious.
Spirit of Giving
We strive to be thankful and show kindness all year round, but this is the time of year when humanity spread this sentiment a bit wider. Whether it�s baking cookies for your roommate or making a donation to The Salvation Army, there is a sense of generosity that cannot be ignored during the holidays. We�ve collected a a few of our favorite ideas on how you can give back with your time you save.
Staying in town for Thanksgiving?
Local homeless shelters are always looking for volunteers to help serve food on major holidays. Voly is a great website that will help you find places to volunteer based on your location. They�ve even got a special page for Holiday Volunteering. This site is definitely worth checking out.
We found a pretty incredible story about a sticky note movement called #DukeEncourage that connected college students in a different way. Students started finding sticky notes all over campus with reassuring messages like �It�ll all work out�, and �You belong at Duke�, ending with the hashtag. A domino effect of encouragement spread throughout the school as the movement grew. Small acts like that can make a big impact. Let your fellow students know you�re rooting for each other.
Send out Christmas Cards
YEAH. Those annoying cards you pose for every year that your family sends out to other family members and friends you don�t even know�make some holiday cards with your roommates and send them out to your friends on campus, and family back home. Your parents will love it, and you�ll have fun making them.
Enjoy the Weather
Chances are it�s just now feeling like Fall where you are (Dallas is still deciding if it will let Fall in). Or maybe you�ve been enjoying the cool weather for awhile now. Either way, it�s time to be outside. The leaves are changing, the air feels crisp, wool sweaters are coming out of storage, and football season is in full swing. [Laundry tip: put your wool sweaters in your black Campus Cleaners bag for cleaning]
According to The Huffington Post, being outside has been known to increase brain function and decrease stress. What better medicine could you ask for as a college student? So get out there � go on a hike, walk to your favorite coffee shop, or bundle up in that hammock�time to leave your corner of the library and return to the outside world!
Gathering of friends and family
People and community are what make settings memorable, right? Work parties, community dinners, Friendsgivings, and family reunions - the holiday season has a way of bringing people together in a capacity unlike any other season of the year. We�re thankful for this and believe it�s a priority to celebrate. So, gather some friends for a dinner in your dorm, make it a point to go to a specific event for the holiday season with your roommates, or create a tradition of making it a season of encouragement. These are the things that we believe make the most of saved time during this holiday season. As David�s story proves, the holiday season spent with friends can be the most memorable.
Here are a few events near you that we thought looked fun. If you can find other events in your town, check them out. If you end up making a memory, please feel free to share your experience with us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!
Enjoy the season
Something we really enjoy this time of year is that there is always something to do. Every city is bursting with parades, festivals, and shows.
Elf Movie Party
Ugly Sweater Run